Collector’s Steam Engine and Equipment Collection Began With 1892 Aultman Star Engine
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The Minneapolis owner had told Jake that he should have an International tractor his neighbor owned. The neighbor had bought it new in 1912 just to move hay balers around. He parked it behind a shed in 1935 and had not used it since. “Anyway, I went over and bought that, too,” says Jake. “It was a 12 HP International gasoline tractor. I totally rebuilt it about 20 years ago, but stopped and never did get it back together.” This is a very rare tractor and as far as anyone knows, there are only two left. “I think I gave about $100 for it. The farmer had taken the front wheels and put them on a corn picker, but I got them back.” Jake made new axles then took the tractor completely apart and had it sandblasted.
The Advance-Rumely Universal is probably Jake’s favorite tractor. “They just have real good construction, you can see both front wheels when standing on the platform. If I was going to buy a new engine and wanted to make a living with it, I would have bought the Rumely,” he says. Jake kind of likes the Frick engines too, especially the good design, but doesn’t like the looks of the center crank – he prefers a side-crank engine.
In 1949, Jake bought the 1915 20 HP Baker counter-flow engine, no. 1192, that is sitting in his shed. “I’ve had that a long time. Actually, I am the second owner.” The engine was on exhibit at the state fair in 1915. “My friend, Gus, and I threshed with this in 1950, he ran it most of the time and thought the Baker was easy to handle. You can stand on the platform and see both front wheels, which means an awful lot when you are pulling a threshing machine down a narrow county road. I didn’t have a separator at that time so we used his 48-inch steel Advance-Rumely he bought new in 1924,” says Jake. “I still have it over in the shed – we put it there 57 years ago right after we finished threshing.”
Expanding the Collection
Since then, Jake has gotten several separators – a late model Minneapolis 32-54, probably made in the early 1920s, one of the last steel separators built. “About half the pulleys are Rockwood pulleys, which is something you hardly ever see on a separator,” says Jake. “The separator here is a wooden 30-50 A.D. Baker. This is a rare separator as there are very few wooden Bakers, and I think it was built between 1910 and 1920.”
Jake bought a 1906 2-cylinder 17 HP Huber, serial no. 7776, in 1955 or 1956 – this is the engine with one vertical cylinder and one horizontal cylinder. Jake stated, “This is a very rare tractor; I don’t know of another one in existence and I have been in this business for 60 years now. It is totally original, but I think it may have been repainted once.”
Getting the Huber was an interesting story. Jake was driving around in another state and stopped at several small town stores. He asked if anyone knew of any old steam engines and one man said he knew of one nearby. Jake followed the directions, went down country roads and through several gates. Way out in a field he could see an engine in a shed. “I ended up buying the Huber and went back later with my lowboy to pick it up.”
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